Saturday, July 28, 2012

Our Day in Frankfurt

Maria's View-

We had a wonderful time in Frankfurt today!  We had the pleasure of meeting another family who is on their way to adopt two little boys.  We have been chatting with this family for months now so it was pretty awesome to meet them in person!  They chose to have a long layover in Germany so that they could take advantage of the sightseeing. 

We had a wonderful lunch at a pretty awesome restaurant and dude had his first flammkuchen ever!  It's a paper thin pizza style dish with ham and onions.  Delicious!  We sat outside and dined and I think the little ones did so much better outdoors than they would have indoors.  They were on their best behavior!  So proud of them!

I'm going to leave all of the history/touristy stuff for Chris to tell you about! 

But anyway, after a few hours of visiting with our friends, the sky opened up and flooded all around us.  We found shelter under a covered restaurant seating area until Chris could bring the van to us to pick us up.  It was a short visit, but the little ones were done for the day and in need of naps.  But the quality time was great!  I wish them well on their adoption journey and will be praying for them continuously! 

The real Griffin is starting to emerge!  Today, while out and about, he was pretty relaxed!  He was content to sit in the double (side by side) stroller and sing/do Itsy Bitsy Spider over and over again...and even reached over and pulled Little G's pigtail a couple of times!  Before I knew it, Little G was repaying the favor.  And once, someone took Griffin's shoe and sock off and I haven't figured out if it was Little G or Griffin but thankfully we noticed before we walked away!

Something cute-Dude has come a long way with his food frustration.  When we first got him home, doing the 'airplane' with food was torture and we quickly learned that we couldn't do that.  Now, he will actually make the engine sound and will have a playful smile on his face as he's waiting on the food to 'land'.  Doing the 'airplane' with tooth brushing is helping a lot, too. 

Would I adopt this little boy all over again?  YES! YES! YES!  He blends into our family quite well!  We are adjusting and learning as we go, just as we would if we added another biological baby to the family!  Adoption is such beautiful thing. 

Love and Hugs!!!

Chris's View-

Today, I got to get back in to tour guide mode!

I really like it when I get to research a place and then give a mini-tour to people.  I have been told many times that I would make a great tour guide.  I would love it, but thanks to the internet, tour guides, unless you live in a historical area like D.C. or Europe, are becoming a dying breed.

This morning we got up and headed to Frankfurt to meet a family that is adopting from the same country that we did.  They had an extended layover, so we told them that we would show them around and go to lunch.  We got there at just the right time and Maria & the kiddos met them, while I found a place to park the van, since the garage I wanted to park in was closed for renovations.  When we met back up, we did our introductions and off we went.  This was neat because Maria & I haven't seen anything, other than the airport, in Frankfurt either.

We started with the Frankfurt Cathedral or Frankfurter Dom in German.  Without even knowing until I did my research, this cathedral holds special significance to us.  This is the apostle Bartholomew's cathedral.  Bartholomew was also known as Nathaniel... like our adopted son!  This cathedral is where every king of Germany was voted into power.  Once it was time to be crowned, the procession was moved to the central alter, that is said to house the head of Saint Bartholomew... it's their religion, I get it, but that's a little creepy!  This is not the original cathedral though... remember your history... this place took 6 bombardments during WWII, and the Romberg, which was the governmental seat of Frankfurt, sits a mere stone's throw from the steps of the Dom.  The whole area was a massive target, and the cathedral was acceptable collateral damage during those raids.

After visiting the cathedral, we walked, albeit the long way (sorry ya'll), to a lunch place called Cafe Hauptwache.  This cafe is the remodeled main prison, and sits in a walk platz that was having a couple interesting activities today.  First, there was some sort of Italian cultural festival taking place.  The Italians dancing and singing were not the crazy bit though... it was also Occupy Frankfurt rally day!  Awesome... just our luck.  I figured we'd do our best to blend and avoid them... more on that in a second though.  The Cafe Hauptwache is on top of a subway station, and used to be the main prison for the more high profile prisoners.  After Frankfurt was absorbed by Prussia, the Hauptwache was closed down.  Luck for us!  It is now a cafe, know for their Tarte Flambee, or what we have come to know as Flammkucken!  Yummy!  For those of you who don't know, Flammkucken is an ultra thin crust (like the thickness of a butter knife blade) pizza type thing, but instead of tomato sauce, they use creme fraiche, ham & onions, then cooked in a wood fired oven.  Yes, it's as good as it sounds, and yes, we had this.  We also had some German style potatoes that were fantastic!  The place, despite being in a very touristy area (just off the square where the Hauptwache sits is the largest shopping area in Frankfurt), the prices were very reasonable, and the portion sizes were large.  Highly recommend this place if you are in the area!

Once we were done eating, we headed for a very short walk to the Eschenheimer Turm.  This is one of the original gates that marked the entrance to the town of Frankfurt... I guess it would be more appropriate to say the old city-state of Frankfurt.  We are talking 1300-1400s here.  It is original and was not destroyed during WWII, so it is really a national treasure for the city.  To get there, it was literally a 5 minute walk from the cafe, or it should have been.  We had to push through the Occupy Frankfurt 99%.  Yeah, same agenda as the Occupy stuff in the states as far as we could tell, we just couldn't understand a word they said.  We did see quite a few people in the Anonymous mask though.  The gate was built in two phases.  The original was simply the square base.  Later, the architect of the Frankfurt Cathedral came in and built the round tower on top of the base.  You could walk to the top of the tower, but I don't think my knees could handle the 328 old stone stairs!  Not to mention, a double stroller tackles stairs about as good as my wore out knees do!  It is interesting to see this place set against the modern backdrop of glass covered skyscrapers... this was the skyscraper of it's day.  Oh yeah, there is a cafe in the bottom of the gate now.  Would have been nice if was left in an unaltered state.  As we were getting to the gate, it started raining.  After talking with the family for a few minutes, I decided it'd be best to go get the van and to make our way home.

It was great day out with the family, met some great people, had some great food, and saw some great sights.  Got home had some great chicken kabobs, then watched some Olympics with Big G... I love the Olympics... GO USA!

See ya'll later!

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